Being the kind of person who often enjoys a bit of scientific evidence, I must admit that I do love it when science confirms something that I have felt for some time! If you are a regular follower of my writing or a client of mine, you will no doubt know that I refer quite regularly to eye contact as a way of connecting with a loved one, allowing you to expand into better love-making and even into a more connected and fulfilling relationship. Finally, a study has been published explaining why eye contact can create a deeper connection.
What this study has shown is that when we make eye contact, we become more aware of ourselves, physiologically and emotionally. Eye contact attunes our brain to our own body, increasing our self-awareness. Participants were more accurately able to assess their physiological cues when they were engaged in eye contact. What this means is that when we make eye contact with another person, we become more connected to ourselves, thereby immersing us into our physical bodies rather than our minds. And the key to having better sex is being physically present.
So many of us struggle to let go of our thoughts and be in the moment with our lover, but now there is a way to get back to the body more easily. When I ask couples that see me for therapy to engage in eye contact, invariably they feel awkward and often start to giggle. Considering this research shows that we become more self-aware when making eye contact, it isn’t surprising that it might feel a little uncomfortable. What is important is to notice those feelings of awkwardness along with any other feelings that might arise. It doesn’t matter if you struggle in the beginning to make eye contact for extended periods of time, what matters is that it helps you to get present.
Once eye contact and connection have been established, there are other scientifically proven ways to feel more connected. Touching is one way, and of course communicating what you are feeling either physically or emotionally is another way. Revealing our inner worlds deepens connection between partners, which in turn increases intimacy. So may of us tend to remain armoured against revealing ourselves to those around us, but then struggle with feeling disconnected. The only way to connect is to talk and show what we feel and think.
So, even though it is a small gesture, eye contact can bring up some big feelings. Having the courage to go with it and stay with what is happening can enhance your relationships and make your sex life better. Try making eye contact with your lover before sex and see what difference that can make to how you make love and how you feel during sex. Connecting in with yourself and being present to your body will not only make sex feel better, but will make you a better lover too.